Reports from Spain have revealed that Bayern decided against buying Lucas Hernandez in January due to tax laws in Spain that would have seen them pay a €16m sum on top of Atletico Madrid's €80m asking price.
The French left-back's potential move to the Bundesliga champions was one of the most prominent transfer stories of the January window prior to Thursday's deadline, with the two sides going back and forth on a number of occasions over whether the deal was going to happen.
Espanyol centre back Mario Hermoso (23) is an option for Bayern to strengthen the defence, although Lucas Hernández remains the priority target. One of Mats Hummels or Jérôme Boateng is expected to leave the club in summer [SportBild] pic.twitter.com/UMgKMP5osN— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) January 30, 2019
With Atletico willing to accept no less than €80m, a 20% tax would have been due to the Spanish government, with agent fees and signing bonuses taking the overall value of the deal to well in excess of €100m.
Corentin Tolisso on Lucas Hernández: "I don't know whether he is coming to Bayern, but if he does, that would be great. He is a fantastic player who can play equally well at centre back or on the left. I would do everything to sign him if it was up to me" [Téléfoot] pic.twitter.com/UI2ROCmN5Y— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) January 27, 2019
The Bavarian giants, it seems, were not willing to fork up to that extent, and will reportedly instead wait until the summer, by which point the tax laws in Spain are expected to have changed so as not to charge the 20% that torpedoed the deal in January.
They are still very much expected to be keen on the player, whose successful year saw him emerge as one of the leading young defensive talents in the world.
Having made his international debut in March, the versatile left-sided defender went on to win the World Cup as his country's starting left-back, and although injuries have slightly stunted his club season so far, he has still been a key part of an Atletico side who lead the chasing pack behind Barcelona in La Liga.